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Wisdom of Chhandogya-Upanishad

rishis

Translated & Retold by U. Mahesh Prabhu

I seek my speech, eyes, ears, limbs, life and energy to help me in my good works – that which have truth for theme. I shall never deny truth, or shall never let the truth deny me. Let me be in union, communion with truth. When I am one with truth, may I be the truth.

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Of certainty, a wife does not love her husband for her husband’s sake; but loves him for herself only. The husband does not love his wife for wife’s sake, but loves her for himself only. The father does not love his son(s) for son(s)’s sake, but loves them for himself only. A man does not love his wealth for wealth’s sake, but loves it for himself only.  A man does not love the priests for priests’ sake, but loves them for himself only. A man does not love the rulers for the sake of the rulers, but loves them for his own sake. A man does not love the community for the sake of the community, but loves it for himself only. A man does not love the dogs for the dogs’ sake; but loves them for himself only.

This Self, however, deserves to be seen, heard, thought of as well as meditated upon. When this Self is seen, heard, thought of, known, everything becomes known.

The ruling order ignores the man who thinks of it as anything apart from the Self. The community ignores the man who thinks of it as anything part from the Self. The gods ignore the man who thinks of them as anything apart from the Self. The creatures ignore the man who thinks of them as anything apart from the Self. Everything ignores the man who thinks of it as anything apart from the Self. Hence this Self is the priest, the ruler; he is all gods, all men, all creatures, all that exists; for these are like the sounds of a drum and the drummer; as the sounds of conch that cannot be understood unless we understand the conch and the blower. They are also like the sounds of a lute that cannot be understood unless we understand the lute and the player. Just like the clouds of smoke from fire kindled with damp fuel, from the great Being come the Rigveda, Yajurveda, Sam Veda, Atharvaveda, History, Ancient Knowledge, Sciences, Upanishads, poetry, aphorisms, commentaries, explanations. These are his breath.

As all waters belongs to the sea, all touches for the skin, all smells for the nose, all tastes to the tongue, all beauties to the eye, all words to the ear, all thoughts to the mind, all knowledge to the intellect, all works to the hand, all journeys to the feet, all Vedas, to speech so everything belongs to him.

*

Just as a lump of salt thrown in water dissolves, and cannot be taken out again as salt, though wherever we taste the water it is salt, so this great endless, deathless Being dissolved is knowledge; He reveals himself with the elements, disappears when they disappear; leaving no name behind. For as long as there is duality, one sees the other, one smells the other, one hears the other, one speaks to the other, one thinks of the other, one knows the other; but when everything is one Self, who can see another, how can he see another, who can smell another, how can he smell another; who can hear another, how can he hear another; who can speak  to another, how can he speak to another; who can think of another, how can he think of one another; who can know another, how can he know another? How can the know-er be known?

*

This earth is the honey of all beings; all beings the honey of this earth.

Water is the honey of all beings; all beings the honey of water.

Fire is the honey of all beings; all beings the honey of fire.

Wind is the honey of all beings; all beings the honey of wind

The sun is the honey of all beings; all beings the honey of the sun.

The quarters are the honey of all beings; all beings the honey of the quarters.

The moon is the honey of all things; all beings the honey of the moon.

Lightning is the honey of all beings, all beings the honey of lightning.

Thunder is the honey of all beings; all beings the honey of thunder.

Air is the honey of all beings; all beings the honey of air.

Law is the honey of all beings, all beings are the honey of law.

Truth is the honey of all beings; all beings the honey of truth.

Mankind is the honey of all beings; all beings the honey of mankind.

Self is the honey of all beings; all the beings the honey of self.

This Self is the Lord of all beings; as all spokes are knit together in the hub, all things, all gods, all men, all lives, all bodies, are knit together in that self.

 

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